We love to wax nostalgic at PoP!, but sometimes it’s what’s yet to come that most quickens our nerd pulses. For better or for worse, let’s start the speculation over what’s making us Future Tense.
Tomorrow marks the premiere of the newest entry to the Ghost Rider film franchise. From the moment the follow up was announced, it seems that fandom’s reaction has been tentative at best, at times even negative. But what else is new? Most projects that are announced these days are met with skepticism and general fan outrage, while only a portion wind up actually deserving of the criticism.
I’ll admit, I was firmly in the negative camp when I first heard of this film. I’m not a fan of the character of Ghost Rider, be it in comic book or movie form. And let me stop you before you begin – yes, I’ve already heard that Jason Aaron writes a mean Ghost Rider. And I’m sure that he does. But none of YOU care that Jim McCann writes a mean Hawkeye, so let’s just agree to let our tastes differ.
It wasn’t necessarily that I didn’t think the team behind the Crank films could deliver a decent Ghost Rider film. After all, they bring a solid resume of over the top action that lends itself well to a story about a flaming stunt motorcyclist. It was more that I didn’t think the character of Ghost Rider could ever interest me in a way that would make me put down my cash on a theater ticket. Certainly not a 3D ticket. And so, it was with a healthy dose of negativity and skepticism that I ventured into the Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance panel at NYCC 2011. Full disclosure – I attended this panel strictly as a strategic move to secure myself a seat for the Walking Dead and Avengers panels that followed. But what I saw turned me into a believer.
The film’s directors – Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor – led the audience through their approach for this entry in the Ghost Rider mythos. Beyond explaining their thoughts on the character and the direction they decided to go with the film, they also gave insight to their filming process. And believe me when I tell you: these guys will do ANYTHING for a shot. From footage of them filming while dangling from a helicopter, to being dragged by a motorcycle while wearing rollerblades, it became clear that these guys had exactly the right mindset to deliver an entertaining Ghost Rider film.
And so, in just under an hour, the directors personally sold me on their vision of Ghost Rider. PoP!ulation, I can’t promise you that this film will make Ghost Rider an interesting character. I can’t promise you that Nicolas Cage will deliver a performance up to his one-time high standards. But I can promise you that Neveldine and Taylor will provide somewhere around 90 minutes of pure enjoyment. So venture out this weekend and give Spirit of Vengeance a chance – it can’t be worse than Transformers 2.